Writing in Code
Routledge – 2003 – 194 pages
Beatrix Potter was one of the inventors of the contemporary picture book, and her small novels published at the turn of the twentieth century are still available and popular today. Writing in Code is the first book-length study of Potter's work, and it covers the entire oeuvre, examining all facets of her work in relation to her private life. Daphne Kutzer reveals the depth of the symbolism in Potter’s work and relates this to the issues of the author's own development as an independent woman and writer, and her struggles with domesticity, Unitarianism, and the socio-political issues in late-19th and early-20th century England. Weaving the subtle themes inscribed in Potter's own stories with the concerns and temperament of the author who wrote them, Kutzer exemplifies literary criticism as it can illuminate the breadth of allusion in children's literature.
Chapter One: Rhymes and Riddles
Chapter Two: Into the Garden
Chapter Three: Two Bad Mice
Chapter Four: Dangers and Delights
Chapter Five: Interlude
Chapter Six: Into the Sunset
Chapter Seven: Coda and Conclusion
Daphne Kutzer is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh, US.